Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Skin Problems & Treatments Health Center

Font Size

Prevent Tick Bites While Enjoying the Outdoors

With no vaccines for Lyme and other tick-borne diseases, expert explains how to avoid infection

WebMD News from HealthDay

By Robert Preidt

HealthDay Reporter

SUNDAY, April 13, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- With spring's arrival, many Americans will begin enjoying outdoor activities such as hiking, camping and gardening -- and they need to protect themselves from tick bites, an expert says.

"There aren't any vaccines for tick-borne diseases like Lyme, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, ehrlichiosis and anaplasmosis, so the only way to prevent infection is to not get bitten in the first place," Dr. Christopher Ohl, a professor of infectious diseases at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, said in a Wake Forest news release.

Ohl, who is also the medical director of communicable diseases for the Forsyth County, N.C. Health Department, offered the following tips:

  • Use an insect repellant containing DEET on exposed skin, and treat clothing and footwear with a permethrin-based repellant that provides weeks of protection and remains through several washings.
  • Tuck your pants into socks to reduce the amount of exposed skin. When hiking, stay on well-worn paths and out of tall grass or bushy areas.
  • Check for ticks immediately after being outdoors. The longer a tick is attached, the greater your risk of infection.
  • If you discover a tick, use tweezers to remove it as close to the skin as possible. Don't grab it with your fingers and squeeze it. That injects the tick fluids into you and increases the risk of infection, Ohl warned.
  • If you suffer a tick bite and develop a fever one to two weeks later, see a doctor. The incubation period for tick-borne diseases is eight to 14 days, he said.
  • Protect your dog with tick collars or monthly treatments. This will prevent ticks from being brought into your home by the dog.

Today on WebMD

Pictures and symptoms of the red, scaly rash.
woman with dyed dark hair
What it says about your health.
woman with cleaning products
Top causes of the itch that rashes.
atopic dermatitus
Identify and treat common skin problems.
itchy skin
shingles rash on skin
woman with skin tag
Woman washing face
woman washing her hair in sink
close up of womans bare neck
woman with face cream